Monday, June 29, 2009

I, Toaster: A British artist inadvertently brings Leonard Read's classic essay "I, Pencil" to life.* - Reason Magazine

Interesting article on how much goes into making simple items, in
short, the miracle of capitalism.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Slow Mac DNS lookup fixed

Okay, it turns out Comcast was at fault after all. While the signal to the cable modem was good, apparently Comcast DNS servers no longer play nice with OS X Leopard, resulting in my hideous lookup delays. After turning off IPv6 (no effect) and manually configuring my Ethernet connection to use Open DNS Servers and (that was the ticket!) in System Preferences->Network, everything was back to normal, sites like, Google, et. al were all working fine. It looks like when Apple went up to Leopard they changed the nature of their DNS queries to match the new standard, while Comcast's backwards DNS servers are still in old school mode. Thank you Open DNS servers and all the people on the internet who suggested to change to them.

Slow Mac DNS lookups

Found this very interesting page regarding my current Mac slow DNS resolution issue. Before I proceed any further, I'd like to say shame on Apple for not having any decent articles about resolving this and shame on Apple for being worse (way worse) then window at such a fundamentally simple task. Basically, when Leopard came out it completely changed DNS requests using IPv6, which unfortunately for me turning off does not solve the problem. There's more in the article and it's way more informative then I'll ever be, but needless to say I'm not the first Mac user to have this problem, and eerily, there seems to be no easy fix. I have half a mind to take this thing up the Apple Store and let some "Genius" play with it.

UPDATE: Turns out it was Comcast's old school DNS servers, which no longer work with OS X Leopard apparently. The solution for me was to switch over to Open DNS servers, at and

Sorry Comcast

I'm the first one to admit when I've made a mistake. I recently accused Comcast of being slow, but upon further review, they are not at fault for my recent bouts of internet slowness. By checking on my wife's computer sites like Google,, Yahoo!, I noted that the problem was not with Comcast. It was with the Mac. This of course pains me deeply, I do not like to speak ill of the Mac or any other Apple product I own, but it is the truth. It takes almost 10 seconds for a page to load in Safari, even a simple one like Google. Now I know Safari is a gigantically bloated browser (not as bad as IE, though) but this is completely unacceptable.

At first, I thought it was just bad wi-fi and maybe I was picking up another network or something. So I tried hooking up a CAT5 cable directly to my router. Still slow. And when I say slow, I'm talking EDGE speed slow, wanna chuck your computer slow.

I even went and tried Chrome on the Mac and it was no better. Out of desperation I'm trying Firefox again, hoping that it can handle simple things like logging onto Blogger, but I am not hopeful. Is it time to replace the Mac Mini? Say it ain't so Steve, say it ain't so.

UPDATE: This is so depressing. I've isolated the slowness of the internet to bad DNS resolution on the Mac. Ping tests confirm the same times to google (45ms) from both the windows machine and the mac, but it takes at least 5 seconds for the DNS resolution to occur. They should be using the same DNS, but I've got to check and make sure.

UPDATE 2: Actually it was Comcast's fault after all as their DNS servers don't work with Leopard anymore. And don't blame Apple either, they were just following the new IPv6 standards, we're all going to have to go them eventually. Get with the program Comcast! Thank you Open DNS servers for saving the day! And I'm sorry for ever doubting the Mac!

Friday, June 26, 2009

video projector for iPhone

So want this iPhone projector -- Post From My iPhone

Internet is going slow again

Internet was fine two days ago, I go on tonight and it's slow again. Now I read a story about how the internet broke yesterday after Michael Jackson died?

iPhone speedtest

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Comcast is back up to speed

Comcast did indeed get my internet fixed, and they even left a comment on my previous post when I complained about it. Nice touch, Comcast. -- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Comcast is going real slow right now

Comcast, for the first time I can remember, is totally dogging it. I'm talking like dial-uo here. Now I know why I never went on the internet back in the '90s. It's unusable at this speed. I'm going to go and program the iPhone for a while. If it's still like this tomorrow, it may be time to drop their 57 dollar a month BS for el cheapo DSL.

The Intermittent Kevin - Find My iPhone works, and it is awesome.

Dude lost his his iPhone, then used Find My iPhone to track it down.
Hilarity ensues.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, June 22, 2009

Feng Shui achieved

I believe I've finally set up the ideal programming environment here on the couch. I've got the Mac Mini on my top shelf, and a new bottom shelf for my iPhone, wallet, keys, and Blackberry. I have my IIT diploma right next to my LCD monitor which is now mounted on a 14" swing arm. The Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mighty Mouse have been behaving for the last week now, so I now have a fairly neat environment to work in. I already felt more productive today as I linked my Interface Builder objects to Xcode using the New Referencing Object, dragging the little blue line over to the File's Owner. It just felt good.

On a side note, I'd like to wish Steve Jobs I happy return to the Apple campus today. It's good to have you back!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Getting your band into the iTunes store

Found this cool article on Macworld about getting your band's music up into the iTunes store for next to nothing. The name of the company is called TuneCore and for the ridiculously low cost of 99 cents a track, they get you into iTunes. Even better, they let you keep all the money you make from the sale.

Now there is no excuse for bands to not get their music heard, unless they do in fact really suck. Apple truly is great in the fact the barrier to entry in both the music and programming worlds has been shattered by iTunes. Anyone with a little talent and effort can get their works out into the world and make some money. Now if Apple would just do something for publishers....

Putting GM seed on the iPhone

I really hope this is the last time I have to do this. I mean, they can't have another beta before June 17th, right? It's not so much the endless syncing of the iPhone, but putting the provisioning certificate back on to get my iPhone programs to run. It's such a pain in the but and my notes are incomplete on the subject. I'm headed off the iPhone DevCenter to figure out how to do it again.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

WWDC keynote

Well they didn't name the iPhone the iPhone Video. Good, best not to brag about features phones have had for years. The days of the AT&T exclusivity agreement are probably coming to an end, buoyed by the fact that they have overpriced, crippled plans that can even support simple things like tethering and MMS. Keeping the iPhone 3g around at $99, that was nice. Good bye, Pre. Hope you enjoyed the 2 days of hype. MacBook Pros hundreds of dollars less? Nice. I still won't buy one, hoping for Macbook White to drop (unlikely). Snow Leopard really didn't have any surprises, appreciated the $30 dollar upgrade price. Didn't appreciate the waiting 'til September for it, but hey, OSs are complicated. And no Steve Jobs, not surprised, but still disappointed. Miss the Reality Distortion Field.

Safari 4 is out

Was greeted by the Software update bouncing at the bottom of the dock, alerting me to the fact Safari 4 was ready for download. Looks like Apple took all of Chrome's good ideas, like Top Sites and private browsing, although I'll have to run it through some speed tests to see how much faster it is.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

20,000 Nations Above the Sea: Is floating the last, best hope for liberty? - Reason Magazine

Great article on Seasteading. Forget trying to reform the country,
just build a new one on the ocean!

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Can't wait for WWDC 2009

I rarely wish a weekend to go by fast, but with WWDC coming this Monday, I can't help it. I honestly can't say I'm that excited about the new iPhone/iPhone 3.0 software, the former because I just bought a 3G three months ago (when my iPhone Classic died, sniff) and thus won't buy one no matter what it has, and the latter since I've had the 3.0 beta on for a while now, and with the beta finally being solid, I no longer pine for the finished version. I am, however, very excited about some news regarding OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. Specifically, when will it be released, what's the price point, and for Steve Job's sake I hope there's more features then Exchange 2007 support and 16TB of RAM that no will be able to use for the next decade or so. Quicktime X looks sounds cool but I don't think it's worth an OS upgrade. Multitouch features, perhaps? If they don't have something decent that we don't know about I think it's going to be hard to get people to fork over $129.00, given the economy and what not. If they're charging for it, then there's no way I'm getting a Macbook until it Snow Leopard comes out, so then it will just be pre-installed. I'd hate to have to wait until September for it, though. Apple also needs to consider that Windows 7 is right around the corner and from what I'm reading on the blogosphere, it doesn't completely suck like Vista does. Apple needs to get this thing released sooner rather then later. People aren't dumb, and they're going to hold off on getting a new Mac since they know a new OS is coming. It's hurting sales, and despite the tremendous success of the iPhone and App Store, the Mac is still Cupertino's bread and butter. (Now maybe if the iPhone was available on all Verizon it would be a different story, but don't hold your breath).

So what are we going to find out come Monday at 10AM Pacific time? It's prediction time:

1. Snow Leopard will come out "sometime in the near future", but no firm release date so Apple can clear out OS X 10.5 Leopard inventory. I do expect the announced features (OpenCL, 16 TB RAM support, Grand Central, Quicktime OS X, Exchange 2007) and a few rumored ones (the aforementioned multitouch support and geographic awareness). I expect Apple to price it at $129 like before (you don't work on something for a year and give it away for free, least of all at Apple). I also expect lots of boring technical information thrown in (this is a DEVELOPER'S conference, after all) that will piss every blogger who is waiting for the new iPhone announcement.

2. iPhone Video. Yeah, that's what they're calling the new iPhone. Not exactly creative. Adding recording video isn't exactly new (my Treo 650 had it for God's sake) and if they are really adding the front facing camera for iChat, i hereby predict it will be the most under utilized feature in phone history. Much like nuclear powered cars, retiring at 40, soccer and the metric system becoming popular in the United States, and other myths we were lied to about growing up, video phone calls have not, and will not, EVER go mainstream. Not even in the business world for teleconferencing. It looks great on TV, but seriously, do you really want people to see what you're doing while you're on the phone? That's what I thought. The video editing app that should be cool and I suspect the built in YouTube/Facebook uploading will go over well. What won't go over well? The fact that it won't be available for iPhone Classic and 3G users. Apple will claim that only the iPhone Video's upgraded processor and RAM can handle these "radical" features, leaving previous iPhone owners out in the cold. Brrrr. A 32 GB model is nearly certain, but I'd be shocked at a $99 4GB version, and even more shocked if Verizon was announced as a future carrier, as rumored. Expect a release date of July 17th or so while Apple clears out the old 3Gs.

3. LOTS of iPhone App demos. Again, this is a DEVELOPER's conference, not a Macworld "Stevenote". Again, I expect the blogger s in attendance to be bored to tears about the latest and greatest apps that are coming out. Expect five or so demo videos, of which one, and at most two, will actually be interesting.

4. Steve Jobs will NOT appear, not even for a "One last thing" moment. Boo.

5. No iTablet either. Expect that announcement no earlier then September, if at all this year.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Google Chrome for Mac: So far, so good

Look, I don't hate Safari. But there's something about it I just don't like about it. I can't put my finger on it, maybe it's the way it does favorites, or the tabs, I don't know. And don't get me started on Firefox. It's been in my doghouse ever since it couldn't do the simple task of logging on to Gmail. So I have really high hopes for Google's new browser, Chrome. Mind you, Chrome is in "pre-beta" at the moment, yet it seems to be running pretty well so far. No crashes in a few hours testing, (no surprise there), flash videos don't play yet (boo-hoo, no craptacular advertising) but other then that it's solid. I like the look and feel of the tabs, and the performance is gigity-gigity good. Hopefully Google will bring along flash and all the other stuff we expect soon, but barring something cataclysmic, this is my browser from now on for the Mac.